Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the marine transportation industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. This video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Marine transportation and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated marine transportation field.
Career Options for Women -- Marine Transportation:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in marine transportation:
- Manon Turcotte, a boat pilot accustomed to busy shipping lanes and port harbors
- Gina Gray, a ferry deckhand working her way up to Second Officer
- Louise McGowan, a naval engineer who maintains shipboard mechanical equipment
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Marine Transportation video:
Manon: Boat Pilot
Manon Turcotte originally wanted to become an accountant, but realized an office job wasn’t right for her. Then she saw a presentation on careers in the marine industry and decided to chart a course in this direction. She attended a Marine Institute and spent several years on ships. Today, Manon is one of only three female marine pilots in Canada, out of a total 350 marine pilots nationwide. She is a pilot on the St. Lawrence Seaway and works for a company called Mid St. Lawrence Pilotage, navigating ships through the seaway from Montreal to Trois- Rivieres.
The St. Lawrence penetrates over 2,300 miles into the North American continent. Its geography is complex and varied, with 500 islands dotting its course. Pilots like Manon are called in to take ships through this tricky, potentially dangerous waterway and into the right harbor safely. Manon helps all kinds of ships from all over the world, from cargo ships to tankers to passenger ships, even submarines and destroyers! A pilot on the St. Lawrence Seaway makes a good living. The hours are demanding and very irregular. You can be called in at anytime. Manon says she has learned to sleep whenever she gets a chance. “I like my job because it is never routine. Every day is different with different ships.”
Manon’s job keeps her very busy. So in her spare time she likes to go for quiet walks in Trois-Rivieres, where she lives.
Gina: Ferry Deckhand
Gina Gray is a deckhand with BC Ferries and is working her way up to Second Officer. She took her Watchkeeping certificate at the Pacific Marine Training Campus and got some hands on experience in the Navy. This combination was her ticket onboard the Queen of New Westminster. The ship is about 430 feet long with 15,000 horsepower and room for 286 cars. It may sound like a lot to handle, but Gina's got it covered.
Gina works ten hour days, five days on and five days off. She likes working at the British Columbia Ferry Corporation because they offer great benefits. Her future goals are to move up through second and first officer and eventually become a captain. Gina enjoys the responsibility her job offers. She says the work is always changing and, although some days are uneventful, her job can get very intense in emergency situations.
Gina did a lot of other things before choosing a career on the ocean. She went to theater and film school, and even did some production work on a few films. Nowadays, her role at BC Ferries has all the production elements she requires. “I love working outside with the changing scenery. I have the most beautiful office in the world.”
Louise: Naval Engineer
Ever wonder what it takes to keep those big Navy ships in top notch condition? Ask Louise McGowan, Marine Engineer on the HMCS Ville de Quebec. Marine Engineers, or "stokers" as Louise describes herself, are the personnel who operate, monitor and maintain a ship's mechanical equipment. Louise spent all of her teen years as a sea cadet then joined the Navy when she was 22. Louise signed up because she figured it was time to settle down. Settle down and travel, from the looks of it!
Louise says it's a job that's right for her. Her future aspirations include writing a book about the life perspective of a Canadian sailor. Louise believes other women would enjoy her job because it’s never routine. Every day is unique with new horizons and different challenges. “I love the adventure of being at sea. You're sailing out into this hostile environment and you never know what's going to happen.”
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University